The East River Waterfront at 23rd Street Manhattan might, in future, simply pull the plug out of the grid, instead using renewable energy. The Big Apple has drawn plans to construct the first carbon neutral building on the East River at 23rd Street, called the Solar 2. The 8,000-square-foot building will equip a hydroponic greenhouse, cafe, and solar-powered offices costing $12.5 million to construct. For now, funds are running low as the non-profit organization planning the makeover has just $6.5 million in its pocket.
Category Archives: Architecture
We’ve seen a quite a few portable homes before, like the recycled-steel made Homestead House. These homes are built to live off-grid, and are self-sustainable. No all of them can live up a snow clad mountain top though, the way the Eco-Temporary Refuge can. This prefabricated home by Cimini Architettura is self-sustainable and requires no grid connections whatsoever to breathe. It packs a load of solar panels on its roof that suck in solar juice and power up the home’s heating systems and fulfill all its electricity needs. That’s not all. The solar panels also power up a snow-melting system that works as a fresh water source.
They help you move. They keep your stuff safe. And they’re recyclable.
We’re talking about those carton boxes we’re all familiar with. These
days, they’re being used to build temporary buildings too! Spanish
architect HRuiz-Velazquez built this Living Nature space for the 2010
Feria Habitat exhibition in Valencia, Spain recently. The structure
packs four shop windows that represent the four types of living in the
country and was built in a span of just 10 days. Showing off the
different ways of Spanish life style, the structure can be packed up
and moved to a new location and is also recyclable. 2,000 boxes of
recycled carton were used to build this one.
Eco-friendly homes that are small and compact seem to be the future of dwellings. Here’s one that was displayed at the Montreal Cottage & Country Home Show. With 376-square feet of space, this little cottage was designed and built by Faberca. Known as the Faberhaus Pavilion, the little home is self-sufficient, fulfilling all your needs and requirements. It requires no grid connection and powers up using renewable energy sources like solar energy that works the LED lighting. The fridge uses propane power. The little house was shipped in to the exhibition 95% complete. Packed with an ethanol fireplace, polished concrete floors (ground level), laminated wood floors (upper level), retractable furnishings, walnut cupboards, concrete counters/sinks, and large windows, this little home could be yours for $89,000.
India will soon have its own solar powered green museum with some pretty breathtaking exhibits on display. The Shree Swaminarayan Museum complex in Ahmedabad Gujarat will cover a massive 30,000 sq feet of land. An additional 35,000 sq feet will be used for its offices and guest house. The museum will play home to artifacts used by Lord Swaminarayan, the founder of the Swaminarayan sect from 225 years ago. The best part, this museum will be powered by solar energy and by windmills. Also, it will make use of glazed and insulated windows to cool the building naturally. A garden with 300 trees will sprout up nearby.
If you’ve been around Cornwall in the United Kingdom lately, you might have come across some massive bubbles, and if you really haven’t figured out what they really are, you’ve just had a look at the world’s largest greenhouse! Designed by Nicholas Grimshaw, the Eden Project put up by Tim Smit is essentially covered biomes constructed from tubular steel space-frame and hexagonal panels made from thermoplastics known as ETFE. The project design takes inspiration from that celestial white ball up there, the moon. ETFE is recyclable, light and durable too. Also, its cheaper and a lot safer to use in construction than glass. The hexagons put together acts as a thermal blanket and keep the temperatures inside the biome just right.
At first, we thought this one to be a mutant whale, or probably a high-tech submarine. What it really turned out to be, was Vincent Callebaut’s Physalia. The designer came up with this floating garden, shaped like a whale that drifts through the water and purifies it at the same time. A self-sufficient eco-system of sorts, the Physalia is powered by the sun and uses bio-filtration to purify water. Covered with a green roof and thin-film solar panels, this one also uses hydro-turbines that generate energy from the water moving under its body. The vessel also uses a layer of TiO2, reacting with ultraviolet rays to clean the water.
One of the best places to live in the Big Apple, the New York Palace hotel is busy adding on shades of green. With 899 rooms, this hotel is one of the few around that really employs a full-time green practices manager on staff. The hotel also has a long list of initiatives it hopes to take up in the year 2011, including going 100% renewable energy-powered. For now, the hotel offsets all its electricity usage by purchasing renewable energy certificates from Hess Corporation, keeping away a good 22 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions. That’s not all. The green hotel is working with Clean the World and donates 500 pounds of gently-used soap and guest-room amenities on a monthly basis that is then shipped out to homeless shelters once sanitized.
The City of New York might just have yet another beautiful building added on to its already towering skyline, though this one sure doesn’t stick to the block-like structural design. Instead, the West 57th residential tower uses a completely different and never-seen-before architectural design, with a slope facing the south-west side. Designed by Bjarke Ingels and his team, the tower is a hybrid. The building makes use of balconies for each home to let in maximum natural lighting. That’s not all. The south-west facing slope also nestles in a green space that helps keep the temperatures in check and also add to the building’s green look. The cleverly designed green space sits snug, and fits in perfectly with the buildings unique sloping façade.
The Department of Water and Power Building in Pasadena, LA, is in for a Merit Award and has been selected by the Pasadena Foothill chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Here’s why. This project costs a good $10m and is all about sensitivity to historical, ecological and human contexts according to David L. Goodale, Design Principal at Gonzales Goodale Architects. The building, two storey high, blends into the surroundings, complete with two green demonstration areas on its roof that work as an example to future projects. Surrounded and crowned by oak trees that keep the air cool and pleasant around, this building also has waste-water recycling systems and water-thrifty evaporating cooling systems that have a rain-like effect on the façade to cool the temperatures. The building also boasts bicycle parking, promoting bicycle use, and preferred parking for carpools and hybrid cars.